Business innovation: technology sets trends

Advances in virtual communication and changes in consumption patterns increasingly affect adoption of new business schemes.

The future can’t reveal itself, but some of its major trends can be noted. Weeks earlier when speaking about Internet Day, we highlighted the enormous changes that web brought into the current scope of business. Today we would like to share our perspective on its future. 

In the short and medium term, the horizon of corporate innovations includes a number of trends, which, driven by technological development, are changing the present way of thinking and running business. Their consequences are just beginning to show, however it is important to note that many of these trends challenge our classical notion of production and consumption. That’s why business leaders should carefully observe and study them to anticipate future economic scenario. 

Here are some of the most important trends,

  • Virtual communication. More and better. Remote communication will continue to experience improvement. According to Forbes analyst Rita McGrath, improvement of 3D technologies and other systems of software commands recognition (gesturing, voice, etc) will further facilitate creation of virtual teams. In line with this, the increasing quality of all forms of telepresence will provide even greater tendency for outsourcing.
  • Complementarities and competence. While technological advances increasingly foster subcontracting and outsourcing, experts anticipate that large companies will not only continue to exist alongside entrepreneurs, but will use them to reinvent themselves. This is due to the structures of small, digital work communities, which are – and will be – more flexible and permeable to changes. Simultaneously, boundaries between certain sectors of the economy diffuse. The most significant example of this is online payment system, a niche equally tempting to banks, credit cards and telecommunication companies.
  • Biometric data and systems. Greater integration. Not only information on customers is more accurate, but also its integration with more sophisticated treatment systems enables the creation of more specific products. A good example of this is nearly 9,000 apps on health, which Apple currently offers. According to the consultant Tim Sweeney, this trend will increase; therefore, applications based on personal biometrics are included as one of the trends that will significantly affect businesses of the future. For this reason, it is likely that certain products that today seem revolutionary (such as items that include sensors to measure vital signs and communicate those wirelessly) will extend to all sectors of economy. 
  • From “have” to “access”. The fourth big “trend” of the new digital economy implies a new way of consuming and, as such, will have effects on all stages of production and circulation of goods. “On demand” technologies, initially confined to the entertainment audiovisual industry, will extend into a wide range of products and services. In general, access to goods and services will be more important than their direct ‘possession’. In our virtual age, there are some who consider the verb ‘to have’ obsolete. 

Assumptions and realities 

Faced with a scenario determined by accelerated transformations, it is likely that many business leaders feel overwhelmed with the amount of technology-related information, whose data is constantly changing. However, it is much more interesting to analyze trends in the light of a single fundamental question: how can they be incorporated to restate a business plan and make it more profitable? 

In search of this answer, experts advise to be well informed (that means to have access to a variety of sources on technology and business) and, above all, be prepared to contrast ingrained assumptions with undeniable course of economy.